Cookstown student joins fashion competition judging panel

Jose Varandas
Jose Varandas

A past pupil of Holy Trinity College in Cookstown has joined the judging panel of Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture, the premier recycled fashion competition.

Jose Varandas has been announced as one of this year’s student judges.

The competition is back for a seventh year bringing new faces to the judging panel that have plenty of experience in the fashion industry.

Jose has recently graduated from Ulster University with BA Hons in Textile Art, Design and Fashion, in which in he hopes to follow up with Masters.

Jose was a contestant in the 2012 competition with his design ‘Warrior Night’. It was inspired by Avant Garde and The Lord of the Rings movies and the entire outfit was made from recycled coke cans.

The design obviously captured the attention of the judges as he was crowned the Northern Regional winner.

“I will be interested in designs this year that focus on different manipulation techniques of the materials they choose,” he said.

“I would love to see students step outside the box and use a material that hasn’t been seen in the past.

“Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture is a fantastic platform for any creative career; I would really recommend any student in a post primary school with a flair for art and design to get involved. “Without it I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to pursue the tough career that the fashion industry entails.”

Sara Ryan, Head of Operations at Junk Kouture said, “We are delighted to announce Jose as a judge for the Eastern Regional Final this year. He will bring his unrivalled knowledge of fashion to the competition,

which we feel guarantees an admirable judging panel for teenagers entering the competition this year.”

Liguori Dobbin, Bank of Ireland UK said it was “very inspiring” to see Jose Varandas return as a judge.

Jose will be part of a strong judging panel of fashion experts including womenswear designer Rhys Ellis, Limerick School of Art and Design’s Tracy Fahey and Griffith College Dublin’s Jane Leavey who will help determine the regional finalists that will progress to the extravagant Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture Grand Final, in the 3Arena, Dublin next April. Online registration will open on January 9th and close at midnight on January 27th on